Council staff praised for storm response
Members of the Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee have praised council staff for their reaction to the recent storm and power outages which affected many communities across the area.
The role of the emergency services, staff at SSE and Scottish Water, as well as the many community volunteers and partner organisations was also highlighted and the Committee took the opportunity to thank everyone for their hard work.
Chairman, Councillor Deirdre Mackay said: “Across the whole area Council staff worked side by side in challenging conditions with colleagues from the emergency services as well as getting huge help from the third sector, local businesses, community councils and local groups and private individuals. I want to thank everyone for the excellent work. It was heartening to see how well people pulled together and looked out for each other.
“We need to learn from the experience as due to climate change, extreme weather is something that will reoccur and we want to make sure we are better informed and able to provide services where they are needed most.
As part of the discussion yesterday on the way the Council had responded to the weather and power outages, the Committee recognised that the biggest challenge people faced was communications and ensuring all vulnerable people living in communities were identified. Another issue was that now most homes have some form of central heating, many houses did not have access to portable gas or other independent heating devices.
Councillor Deirdre Mackay added: “The discussion at our committee was very useful as it flagged up different issues in different localities so I have asked Councillors at their Ward Business Meetings to record in detail these local issues and feedback their comments as part of the Highland-wide review and debrief.”